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The working title of this film was Mr. and Miss Anonymous. Some reviewers commented on the similarity between Ray Milland's role in this film and his Academy Award-winning part in Paramount's 1945 release The Lost Weekend (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50) In The Lost Weekend, Milland portrayed a down-and-out alcoholic on the verge of recovery. According to modern sources, screenwriter Dwight Taylor based the character "Jenny Carey" on his mother, actress Laurette Taylor. Like Jenny, Laurette Taylor suffered from alcoholism and stopped acting for years at a time. A longtime friend of director-producer George Stevens' uncle Ashton Stevens, a theater critic, she made her stage comeback in 1945 playing the mother in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. Unlike Jenny, Taylor never joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Something to Live For marked the first time that the work of Alcoholics Anonymous was featured in a film story.
Hollywood Reporter news items add the following actors to the cast: Tommy Summers, Jimmy Cornell, Billy Wilkerson, Franklyn Farnum, Michael Butler, Gordon Barber, Jimmy Karath, Dennis Stevens, Carol Issennuth, Kathy Johnson, Ellis Monig, Gus Taillon, Bryn Davis, Nick Borgani, William Gentry, Geraldine Knapp, Arlyn E. Loynd, Gerald Lee, Charlotte Fortney, Florence Busby, Dorothy Vernon, Sarah Weissman, Sushila Janades, Fay Holderness, Betty May, Pauline High, Ruth Barnell, Glen Walter, Paul King, Phyllis Brunner, Mildred Brown, Ed O'Neill and Eric Wilton. A Par News item announced that the following stand-ins would be cast in roles in the picture: Marjorie Dillon, Charles Van and Frank Meservey. The appearance of all of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed.